Sandra Williams, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Strategic Account Management, HGS Banking, Financial Services, and, Insurance (BFSI)
Sweeping market change and disruptive innovation, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), have set the stage for opportunity in the financial services industry. Banks, insurers, and other financial services institutions with high transaction volumes and a perpetual need to streamline operations serve as prime targets for newfound transformation strategies. These institutions are feeling the pressure to adapt to the latest technologies to gain process efficiencies and cater to the service demands of diverse generations. It is very likely that firms will need to turn to BPO partners for help in many ways, but it is also very likely that the service expectations will be quite different than in years past. It’s a simple fact: There will be a new breed of BPO provider supporting a new way of business.
As you read about the impactful trends below, think about considerations necessary to align with the right BPO partner that can help leverage these new capabilities. Outsourcing is going way beyond a pure labor play, as typically seen in the industry today. Process and customer experience (CX) proficiency becomes invaluable as a service provider’s ability to benchmark, set, and monitor new service metrics. The new breed of BPO partner will introduce distinctive delivery models that offer initial advisement and/or full process assessments to properly identify beneficial opportunities, set performance measurements, and deliver the expected customer experience.
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other forms of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques have reached a new level of maturity. Within the next five years, most repeatable, rules-based knowledge work will be handled by robots, while a smaller, more-skilled staff will focus on the exceptions. Identifying the difference between an online customer “bot” contact versus a live human will become very difficult. Cognitive computing capabilities will touch more complex, judgement-based activities (origination and underwriting for example) with compliance objectives, too. Back-office processing now becomes a competitive weapon versus merely a service chore, with business benefits of a cost-savvy model to tackle thinning servicing margins across the financial services industry. Agility, speed, and accuracy are all customer satisfaction levers derived from these transformations. Most impactful may be the automation data and applied analytics that will radically improve outcomes, for more forward-thinking strategies.
- Unified engagement servicing various channels (voice, email, chat, social media, and text) separately become a thing of the past, as a full and instant view of all recent customer interactions/queries serves as the new norm. Role specialization fades away and helping customers in all available mediums drives brand, relationship building, and optimized customer experience. Exponential decrease in traditional voice channels will be deflected to emerging digital channels. There is, and will continue to be, a dire need to access meaningful data in real time for a holistic customer view. Higher expectations for information on demand, service efficiency, and reliability will reset how customer loyalty is earned. It’s a contact center makeover for tomorrow’s unified service front of the future.
- A self-service-focused customer experience is emerging as a powerful solution. In the very near future, self-service portals will be mandatory to remain competitive across almost any vertical, but especially in the financial services and insurance. Constant contact with customers, starting at pre-sales through post-closing support, sets up prime touchpoints to introduce self-help. Self-service demand is being driven by the tech-savvy, next generation of customers who prefer to not talk directly to a service rep. More and more, customers are appreciating the speed and efficiency of finding answers to their questions online versus phoning or waiting for a representative. Companies can thrive by conforming to customer preferences that opens up a valuable 24x7 unmanned service window. A streamlined, forthcoming solution with desirable results increases satisfaction and, at the same time, decreases direct cost.
- It’s time to reexamine a shoring strategy, especially in light of the buzz around blurred borders, or borderless delivery trends. With a digital workflow deployed and around-the-clock automation processing taking hold, the original reason for immediately heading offshore, global labor-arbitrage and follow-the-sun philosophy, is being re-evaluated. A forward-thinking tactic considers all the new tools and technology, with a mindset to take an entire end-to-end process-driven approach with emerging metrics, not the typical piece-by-piece functional outsource placement approach. It’s a change with significant impact on provider selection and sourcing management strategies.
All of these ideas center on innovation and constantly rethinking and reshaping ways to make it easier for financial services customers to interact in a new digital and automated era. These are no longer just business theories to ponder. Future success depends on selecting the right partner to move toward more contemporary, results-driven tools and strategies.